Back-to-school season not only means returning to classmates or advancing to a higher grade, but also the start of flu season and exposure to many illnesses. Whether a student is going into preschool or college, there are ways parents, teachers and students themselves can prepare to stay healthy and help keep the classroom germ-free.
Isabel Valdez, a physician assistant and instructor of general internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said it is most common for students to catch an illness at the start of the school year since they are exposed to more people.
“Kids are going to be kids, and they may not wash their hands as frequently or as thoroughly as adults do – especially the younger ones,” Valdez said. “Preschool-age children are more likely to put toys in their mouth, but even young adults and teenagers tend to put pens or pencils in their mouths and all of those things can harbor germs, especially if they shared them with someone who is ill. It’s very common to catch it that way.”
Valdez provides a few methods to avoid the spread of germs and have a healthy school year: